Generally in America, and Black America specifically, alternative and preventative healthcare have been neglected as a priority, and also as a necessity. The Healing Garden (THG is working to correct that type of problematic thinking and hopes to expand on their current work by continuing to fill that gaping void in the community’s consciousness. THG offers an educational space where the community will be provided with information about natural health remedies and therapies that can be implemented in both a healing and preventative capacity.
THG, a nonprofit charitable organization serving Far NE Denver including Aurora, Montbello, and Green Valley Ranch, hopes to acquire a larger facility to provide services to aid the community in both physical and spiritual development. A larger facility will have the ability to provide access to quality services such as yoga and meditation to communities who are not accustomed to or have never been exposed to these types of practices. As a nonprofit and still in the process of finalization, THG will offer payments on a sliding scale of income to increase affordability and assistance to the community.
Dr. Tracey Jones and Rhonda Coleman looks forward to community engagement to include all faculty donating resources and time to the center in order to foster an atmosphere of inclusion, acceptance and excitement. This will serve all who want to participate, even if finances may be a factor. An Indiegogo campaign is underway to raise capital to help attain their dream.
Dr. Tracey Jones, D.C., one of the community partners and provider, is especially adept in restoring patients involved in car accidents with her business, Jamaa Health and Healing Chiropractic. She is a strong believer in taking steps to help the body heal itself in the most natural process possible. She says, “If your mind is in a chaotic place, your body cannot properly heal.” She helps her clients with insurance issues and other types of situations that can affect their mental state. In addition to providing spinal adjustments and physical therapy, Dr. Jones’ services helping clients with nutritional plans, administering soft tissue treatments, and providing custom orthotics for those looking to be proactive in health maintenance and correct structural imbalances.
Co-founder of THG Rhonda Coleman, L.Ac., and soon to be Dr. Coleman as she will be receiving her doctorate in Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine in June, also believes in the power and capability of natural healing. “Almost anything can be cured with herbs” she says as she described some of the internal medicine practices used to treat her patients. She also provides acupuncture services that come with a laundry lists of benefits including, better circulation, stress reduction, and anxiety relief. Coleman, also a certified massage therapist, also assists patients with nutritional plans to help them reach their highest physical potential. She takes pride in working with children; helping to form quality habits to help create successful adults. This area of child development is often overlooked, but extremely beneficial.
These two African American women, looking to help strengthen their community by providing quality alternative healing practices met through a mutual client. While Jones’s facility had recently closed and she was looking for a new space to continue her work, simultaneously Coleman was looking for more practitioners to help fill space at her current location. Thus a connection blossomed between two women who believed in the power of natural healing and also believe that women have a special ability to provide healing services in the community.
Jones and Coleman both realize that creating a change in how a community takes care of themselves is paramount. One brief look at African American health statistics displays the gravity of the situation. “The responsibility is on us to repair our own health because it has become quite clear – no one else can or will take the initiative for us,” says Jones. “The issues reinforcing the negative health predicament range from racism to socio-economic conditions and can only be combatted by an intentional and sustained effort on our past to become a healthier community.”
Both Jones and Coleman agree that the first place to begin with is education; and without the proper knowledge it is difficult to even begin the work of resolving current health crises. “The need for us to become more aware of how to implement healthy diets is important and just simply gaining knowledge of alternative practices can greatly improve our lifestyles. We so often have bad habits that put us into the hands of health care practitioners that are only trained to react and treat symptoms through harsh medications. We, however, should focus on preventative work and creating habits that will allow us to sustain exceptional mental and physical health over the course of a lifetime,” says Coleman.
In addition to the mental and physical benefits THG provides, it is equally important to look at the commitment to the economic health of communities. Supporting small and local business like THG keeps dollars in the communities they serve for the enrichment of the people and presents a great opportunity to practice self-care.
Jones and Coleman encourage clients to look at themselves holistically and delve deeper into how their emotions can also affect their health. Coleman cited from a study that showed high blood pressure can be linked to perceived racism as an illustration of how environmental stresses can contribute to poor health.
“Stressed mothers give birth to prematurely stressed babies which can create generational issues; which we must work to undue if we would like to progress towards healthier families. We are ill-served by only remedying the symptoms of our ailments instead of as they put it “take a holistic approach to clear up our root issues,” says Coleman.
Jones and Coleman firmly believe in the power of human touch and that a more intimate and personal connection can aid all patients in the healing process. The ancestral roots of how human touch can provide healing are undeniable and often overlooked in today’s medical practices. Practitioners at THG believe that healthier people are of great benefit to the larger community, case in point – you rarely see issues created by happy and healthy people. Therefore, it is in the best interest of both the individual and the community to go about the work of creating and sustaining happy and healthy community members.
It is important to get educated and stop accepting poor health conditions as a normal state of affairs in the African American community. Dr. Tracey Jones and Rhonda Coleman says, “we must take our history back and get a better understanding of who we are and what we are capable of accomplishing. Our current state of ignorance is unacceptable and is currently limiting our potential.”
As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we as a community should go out of our way and be grateful to be able to participate and support a project like The Healing Garden, so we can continue to heal our community.
Editor’s note: For more information on the Healing Garden, visit www.thehealinggardencenter.org or call 720-900-4325. To help support the capital Indiegogo campaign, visit https://igg.me/at/Nz2atqx89r0.